Doom’s Retreat, Ink Sump

After the post on the recent trip to Doom’s Retreat Pete asked if any of the photographs Clive took would be available. Clive has kindly agreed to this.

Working mainly in black and white Clive is one of the most widely known and accomplished cave photographers in the UK. His pictures can be found in magazines, calendars, books and several websites. Clive holds a large collection of slides covering caving, mountaineering and other outdoor adventures taken on his travels around the world. Some of the pictures he takes are by request from authors, editors and fellow explorers but most of his collection are his own choices of shot. These pictures are shared (with informal commentary) to the pleasure of those lucky enough to attend a slide show in club huts and meeting rooms.

Chris in the boulder choke dig at the end of the rift in Doom’s Retreat. The scaffold poles in the picture will be replaced by the steelwork mentioned in the blog to make a more robust protection cage for the diggers.

Chris at the base of the rift, surrounded by deads which have been shored up with scaffolding poles. The dig in the previous picture is off to the left at the bottom and is reached by crawling under a low arch.

Chris on the fixed ladder up the second half of the aven in Doom’s Retreat. The ladder was swam through the sump in sections, bolted together and fixed to the wall. At the top of the ladder a rift passage leads to the climbers left for a few metres to the head of the rift seen in the previous picture.

Chris on the platform that marks the halfway point up the aven above the sump. This has been constructed to provide a camping point so that digging time can be extended. Digging work will no longer be limited to a few hours between the journeys in and out. Instead divers can now dig for a full afternoon and morning with an overnight stop in-between.

Chris on the traverse that leads to the foot of the second fixed ladder pitch up the aven. The pitch is permanently rigged with safety lines and hauling ropes. The barrels on the platform are dry storage for provisions, kit and emergency equipment.

Chris at the head of the first pitch fixed ladder next to the platform. Again hauling ropes are in place for lifting equipment up to the dig.

Chris setting up his kit for the dive out. The ladder to his right is the start of the first pitch, the platform is above him. In the water a scaffold platform can be seen, this is in place to make kitting up easier in the deep water of the sump pool. The only other place to stand for kitting up is under a waterfall that flows in wet weather. On the other wall a length of rope hangs from a couple of bolts. This is a clothes line used for securing the dive gear once the sump has been passed, loosing dive gear at the other end of a sump is a bad idea!

Colin at the Doom’s Retreat end of Ink Sump before the dive out. The route out is behind the diver but Clive wanted a shot from the front. It is always best to follow Clive’s instructions on a photographic trip, the reward is pictures of this standard.

Thank you Clive.

Series - Ink Sump

  1. Doom’s Retreat
  2. Doom’s Retreat, Ink Sump
  3. Patchy cloud below the Inky water

3 thoughts on “Doom’s Retreat, Ink Sump”

  1. Well I’m super glad that Clive said okay to your posting some of his pictures! As expected they are awesome! :love:
    They are all great, but particularly (for me) the sculpted rock looking down the rift is beautiful and your reflection in the sump pool is amazing!

    Thanks from me too Clive!

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